The world is’ at ‘war’ against COVID-19, says the UN chief, calling for the application of war logic to the unfair access to the weapons needed to fight the pandemic.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke at the opening of the World Health Organization’s annual meeting of member states on Monday about the “tsunami of suffering” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that more than 3.4 million people have died and that about 500 million jobs have disappeared since the disease first appeared in China in 2019.
“The most vulnerable suffer the most, and I fear it is far from over,” Guterres said, stressing the continuing dangers of a global two-speed response.
“Unfortunately, we are facing a situation where rich countries are vaccinating the majority of their people and opening up their economies, unless we act now, while the virus continues to cause deep suffering by circulating and mutating in the poorest countries,” he said.
“Further increases and increases could claim hundreds of thousands of lives and slow the global economic recovery,” he said, insisting that “COVID-19 cannot be beaten by one country at a time.”
Guterres faced this serious situation and demanded the recognition of the fact that ‘we are at war with a virus’.
“We need the logic and requirement of a war economy to increase the capability of our weapons,” he stated.
The UN chief last week called on the G20 to set up a task force that could help all countries with vaccine production capabilities and other countries to fight the production of vaccines and other tools needed to fight COVID-19 , to increase.
“It should aim to at least double the manufacturing capacity by exploring all options, from voluntary licensing and technology transfer to patent infringement and flexibility in intellectual property rights,” he said.
The task force must also address the equitable global distribution of vaccines, treatments and diagnostic aspects.